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Mar 30, 2023

Good News on the 2022/2023 Sugar Crop

There is good news coming out of the north as it relates to the 2022-2023 sugar crop season. It was off to a rough start with the issues surrounding a commercial agreement between the miller and the sugar cane farmers association, but today, Belize Sugar Industry Limited is saying that over half a million tons of sugar cane have been milled and the projection is that all one point one-five million tons of cane in the fields will be milled this year. There are issues with sourcing labour, but Cane Farmer Relations Manager Olivia Carballo-Avilez is optimistic.


Olivia Carballo-Avilez

Olivia Carballo-Avilez, Cane Farmer Relations Manager, A.S.R./B.S.I.

“We are over half a million tons of cane which is excellent. We are about sixty thousand thereabouts more than we were last year during the same crop day. And so we are very excited about trying to finish all the cane. Several factors can inhibit that; as you know, weather, our grinding rates and now we have a recent problem with cane cutters really. So we are short of labour in the industry and more so because we are able to grind a bit more. Farmers are sharing, in the past we were able to put in five or six trips per week and now we are doing seven trips per week, so it is an additional trip per week which they have to bring about the labour. But we have again technology in the industry already existing. We introduced the mechanical harvesting five years ago; we have proven that that works. So we have a lot of interests from farmers in really assessing how they can do this in their fields. We’ve opened, today we are opening our call for farmers who wish to sign up for this program for next year. We have to look at their fields because their field conditions have to be assessed. So we are opening that up for next year already. The ones from this year, we are managing to cut that and hopefully we have some space to take in some additional requests that have come in already. We have to look at all the ways in which we can solve this labour issue, solve the labour gaps and make operational changes.”

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